Shadow Medicine: The Placebo in Conventional and Alternative Therapies

Hardcover | July 8, 2014

byJohn S. Haller

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Can Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) and Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) find common ground? A distinguished historian of medicine, John S. Haller Jr., explores the epistemological foundations of EBM and the challenges these conceptual tools present for both conventional and alternative therapies. As he explores a possible reconciliation between their conflicting approaches, Haller maintains a healthy, scientific skepticism yet finds promise in select complementary and alternative (CAM) therapies. Haller elucidates recent research on the placebo effect and shows how a new engagement between EBM and CAM might lead to a more productive medical practice that includes both the objectivity of evidence-based medicine and the subjective truth of the physician-patient relationship.

Haller's book tours key topics in the standoff between EBM and CAM: how and why the double blinded, randomized clinical trial (RCT) came to be considered the gold standard in modern medicine; the challenge of postmodern medicine as it counters the positivism of evidence-based medicine; and the politics of modern CAM and the rise of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. He conducts an in-depth case study of homeopathy, explaining why it has emerged as a poster-child for CAM, and assesses CAM's popularity despite its poor performance in clinical trials. Haller concludes with hope, showing how new experimental protocols might tease out the evidentiary basis for the placebo effect and establish a foundation for some reconciliation between EBM and CAM.

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From the Publisher

Can Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) and Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) find common ground? A distinguished historian of medicine, John S. Haller Jr., explores the epistemological foundations of EBM and the challenges these conceptual tools present for both conventional and alternative therapies. As he explores a possible r...

John S. Haller Jr. is emeritus professor of history and medical humanities at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. His most recent books include The History of American Homeopathy: From Rational Medicine to Holistic Health Care; Swedenborg, Mesmer, and the Mind-Body Complex: The Roots of Complementary Medicine; and The History of ...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.98 inPublished:July 8, 2014Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231169043

ISBN - 13:9780231169042

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsList of AbbreviationsIntroduction1. Evidence-Based Medicine Normative Science Big Pharma Cochrane Collaboration Cochrane Complementary Medicine Ethics and Equipoise2. Postmodernist Medicine Psychosomatic Medicine Spirituality Open Door CAM Popularity American Medical Schools3. "The Powerful Placebo" Beecher's Discovery What and How Doctor as Drug The Factor of Trust The Assumptive World4. Politics of Healing Office of Alternative Medicine Wayne Jonas Quantitative Methods Working Group NCCAM White House Commission Institute of Medicine Report The Next Decade5. Complementary and Alternative Medicine's Challenge: A Case Study More of Less Is More: Homeopathy Homeopathic Practice Matter and Energy Ships in the Night To RCT or Not to RCT The Rebuttal The Dilemma6. ReassessmentAppendix: U.S. Centers for the Study of Complementary and Alternative MedicineNotesBibliographyIndex

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